An exhibition designed to overlap with London Craft Week:
Moon Jar: The Untold Story, at Cromwell Place
The Moon Jar is a sculptural form that became an icon in contemporary ceramic history and is celebrated in both the UK and Korea. Echoing the shape of a floating full moon, the traditional white Moon Jar, made from two porcelain hemispheres, dates back to the Joseon Dynasty (14th-19th centuries).
Historically the Moon Jar has been prized for the artistry required to achieve a seamless, continuous curved surface and for its ability to express Confucian ideas of purity, simplicity and austerity. However the exhibition will explore how contemporary Korean makers are radically reinventing this traditional form.
For many years the Moon Jar’s powerful identity and place within Korean ceramic tradition has overshadowed the individuality of modern potters. Moon Jar: ‘The Untold Story’ will focus on modernist potters and contemporary artists who are making and un-making this iconic jar form.
Modern masters Ree Soo-jong and Lee Gee-jo are shown alongside Yun Ju-cheol and Park Sung-wook and the exhibition will also introduce two young female artists Choi Bo-ram and Kwak Hye-young.
Organised by Korea Craft and Design Foundation & curated by Lloyd Choi.
Exhibition presented as part of London Craft Week 2023.
Meet the Artist Ree Soo-jong
In collaboration with the Korea Craft and Design Foundation, Lloyd Choi Gallery is delighted to be in conversation with Korean artist Ree Soo-jong, in an inspiring Artist Talk.
Pioneering ceramic artist Ree Soo-jong belongs to the first generation of modern ceramicists in South Korea and is a leading figure in the Korean ceramic studio movement. In the decades after the Korean war there was a rapid modernisation of society, politics, art and culture and a move to revive Korea’s rich traditional ceramic arts. At this time, Ree started to experiment in abstract ceramic painting and sculpture, blurring the lines between craft and fine art and bringing back the forgotten iron and white-slip decoration techniques of the 15th -16th century.
Ree treats the ceramic surface as if it were paper and works with Korean calligraphy techniques, incorporating spontaneous, energetic strokes into his forms. Ree’s iron painted porcelain Moon Jars subvert the perfect sphere of the Moon Jar by leaving the seam lines visible, revealing the intersection or ‘skeleton’ of the jars and highlighting the process of making.
Whilst a traditional Moon Jar can be described as a calm and modest female character, Ree’s adaptations add a bold masculine element. The artist inscribes his white Moon Jars with dark iron-brown brushstrokes, suggesting we need to encounter the dark in order to appreciate the light.
Image credit: Ree Soo-jong, Moon Jar. Photography by Dan Fontanelli. Courtesy of Lloyd Choi Gallery.